Meaning of Mantra

By Mahanidhi Swami

For success in chanting any mantra, one must engage his senses, mind and heart. Mantra chanting demands complete absorption of our entire being. Expectation and visualization also play a key role in bringing perfection.

In the tika to Sri Brahmaji’s Samhita (v. 60), it says, “He who cultivates the preliminary devotional activities anxiously keeping in view that realized state of devotion can alone attain to that object of all endeavor. None else can have the same.”

This important quote from Brahma-samhita shows that the eager and conscientious devotee must always keep the goal (prayojana) of Krishna-prema in his mind and heart. One should never lose sight of the meaning and purpose of his life. And we should try to see that meaning in all our words, actions, and meditations.

The Gayatris (Guru, Gaura, Kama) and the Gopala-mantra direct one into Vrndavana. According to the Gayatri one chants and his understanding of it, he will enter a specific spiritual planet either Vaikuntha or Goloka Vrndavana.

Srila Sanatana Goswamipada explains this point, “One day Gopa-kumara’s gurudeva said. The Gopala-mantra will fulfill all your desires. Because the chanting of this diksa-mantra will fulfill all your desires, if you desire to attain Krishna, this mantra will also fulfill that desire. Always think of His beautiful Syamasundara form. His transcendental qualities and pastimes. If you do this, this mantra will fulfill your desire to get Krishna.” (Brhad-Bhagavatamrta)

Vyasacarya Vrindavana Dasa Thakura, said, “As the devotee meditates on the Lord, so the Lord manifests that form to a devotee. The Lord gives His servants the power to sell Him to others.” (CB Madhya 23.465)

Sri Brahmaji said, “0 my Lord, Your devotees can see You through the ears by the process of bona fide hearing, and thus their hearts become cleansed, and You take Your seat there. You are so merciful to Your devotees that You manifest Yourself in the particular eternal form of transcendence in which they always think of You.”

“The statement here that the Lord manifests Himself before the devotee in the form in which the devotee likes to worship Him indicates that the Lord becomes subordinate to the desire of the devotee—so much so that He manifests His particular form as the devotee demands. This demand of the devotee is satisfied by the Lord because He is pliable in terms of the transcendental loving service of the devotee. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gitd (4.11): ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham.” (SB 3.9.11 v. & p.)

Besides concentrating on the meaning of the mantra and its component words, one must correctly pronounce each word to insure the proper result. In order to concentrate on the meaning of the Gayatri mantras, one may break the mantras into sections and pause for a moment between sections. For example, the Gopala-mantra: breaks after klim—Krishnaya—govindaya—gopi-janavallabhaya—svaha—. Kama-gayatri breaks after kim—vidmahe—dhimahi— pracodayat—.

These breaks for meditation correspond with the three divisions of sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana. The technique is to combine the meaning of the words (vidmahe, dhimahi, prayojana) with their accompanying concepts (sambandha, abhidheya, prayojana) while meditating on each section of the mantra. This reflective process will quickly yield results.

In the following entry, Srila Prabhupada reiterates the need to follow a system of chanting and meditation to attain mantra chanting success: “Of course, those who are actually following the rules and regulation of Gayatri mantra will gradually come to the spiritual understanding. But not by official chanting. That will not help. [you cannot just think], “Because I have got the Gayatri mantra, oh, burble bura burra…” (Srila Prabhupada makes sound) Finish. Not like that. Don’t cheat yourself. Try to understand.” (SPT 26/11/72)

(Excerpt from Gayatri Mahima Madhuri by Mahanidhi Swami)

Mantra artha and dhyana ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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